How much should teenagers eat

Proper nutrition for children and adolescents

Children and adolescents need a varied mixed diet for growth. A full diet consists largely of carbohydrates. The carbohydrates should provide 50 to 55 percent of the food energy and come primarily from grains, vegetables, potatoes and fruit.

Fat is also part of a wholesome diet. It should come mainly from vegetable fats and oils and contribute a maximum of 30 percent of the food energy.

The remaining energy requirement of around 10 to 15 percent of food energy consists of half animal and / or vegetable protein, mainly milk, meat, fish, grain and potatoes.

Avoid a one-sided meal plan

In the long run, a one-sided diet can lead to deficiencies in specific nutrients such as trace elements, vitamins and fatty acids. This includes, for example, a vegetarian diet without milk, hearty home-style cooking with lots of meat, sausage and cheese, or a diet consisting primarily of sweets and fine flour products.

Anyone who spices their food too much - regardless of whether it is sweet, sour, salty or spicy - dulls the feeling for the original taste of the food. Instead, use lots of fresh herbs to give dishes the finishing touch.

Tip: Let your children have a say in the design of the menu and let everyone choose their favorite dish. If you also involve the children in shopping and cooking and, for example, cook together at the weekend, it is fun. And the children also learn how to handle natural foods as a matter of course.

The meals

Two main meals a day can be cold meals. The main ingredients are bread or cereal flakes (as muesli) and milk. There is also raw vegetables or fruit. Small amounts of margarine, butter, lean cheese or sausage round off the meal. These meals are important for the supply of protein, calcium, vitamins, and fiber.

The warm meal consists mainly of potatoes, brown rice or whole wheat pasta with vegetables or salad. There is also a small side dish of meat three times a week or fish once or twice a week. As a result, the body is well supplied with iron and zinc as well as iodine, protein and vitamins.

If possible, children should decide for themselves how much to eat. Plates that are filled to the brim from the outset are more of a deterrent than they encourage to eat. Also, a child shouldn't sit alone at the table. A pleasant, quiet environment and a friendly atmosphere round off the meal.

The right preparation

Long storage, incorrect preparation, too long cooking, reheating and the use of too much water when cooking destroy many vital nutrients. When preparing meals, make sure that the cooking times are short and use only little water or fat. In this way, nutrients and the taste of the food are preserved.

Fun instead of compulsion

Eating is more than just taking in food. It also has to be tasty and fun. With children and adolescents in particular, coercion and prohibitions do not achieve much. Therefore, in all recommendations for healthy nutrition for children, the fun of eating should not be neglected.


However, the essential prerequisite for successful nutrition education is the good role model of adults.